Haggai 1 - John Trapp Complete Commentary

Bible Comments
  • Haggai 1:1 open_in_new

    In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,

    Ver. 1. In the second year of Darius the king] Not of Darius the Mede, as Genebrard noteth, for he was predecessor to Cyrus, Daniel 5:31, and Haggai prophesied after Cyrus and Cambyses, Ezra 4:5; Ezra 5:1, neither of Darius Nothus, as Scaliger in his book, De Emend. Temporum (the doctrine whereof is almost wholly fictitious, saith one, and founded upon the confines of nothing); but of Darius son of Hystaspes, who succeeded Cambyses in the kingdom of Persia; being chosen king by the peers, upon the neighing of his horse first, as Herodotus testifieth. Whether this Darius was the husband of Queen Esther, as some affirm, or her son, as others (and was therefore so favourable to the Jews), I undertake not to determine; only take notice, that by heathen historians it is said, that the wife of this Darius was called Atossa, which sounds in part somewhat like Hadassah, that is, Esther, Esther 2:7. Hadassah was her own Hebrew name; and after she was made queen she was called Esther. He is called Darius the king, as if he were the only king on earth. His successor, Darius, in his proud embassy to Alexander, called himself the king of kings and cousin of the gods; and for Alexander, he called him his servant; but Alexander soon after became his lord: for the kingdom of Persia was lost by that Darius, as it had been restored by this to its former splendour, after the havoc made by Cambyses (παλιν επι Dαρειου σχεδον εσωθη); who among other vile acts of his (as "wickedness proceedeth from the wicked, according to the proverb of the ancients," 1Sa 24:18), forbade the building of the temple, Ezra 4:22. But he who sets up princes at his pleasure, and turns their hearts whithersoever he will, Proverbs 21:1 (as the ploughman doth the watercourse with his paddle, or the gardener with his hand), turned here the heart of this great king to his people the Jews; so that he made a new decree for the advancement of the building, Ezra 5:8. God also seasonably stirred up Haggai and Zechariah to quicken the people (who were soon after their return from Babylon grown cold again and careless), and so blessed their ministry, that the house, that is, the sanctuary, and the holy of holies, was finished in four years' time, or thereabouts, Ezra 6:14. The outward court, and so the whole temple, in three years after that, as Josephus witnesseth.

    In the sixth month] In the 3484th year of the world, as Ussher computeth it, on the first of September, confer Hag 2:19 when the Jews were ingathering their harvest and fruits, and found a dearth toward. This the prophet makes use of, pressing it upon the people as a just hand of God upon them, for slighting and slacking the rebuilding of his house. It is good for God's ministers to set in with him, to strike while the iron is hot, to cry, "Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it," Micah 6:9; for as iron is very soft and malleable while in the fire; and as molten metals are fit for the mould; so when men are under the cross they are more easily wrought upon; they will hearken to instruction, that before laughed at it, as the wild ass doth at the horse and his rider, Job 39:18. The wild ass, that is used to the wilderness, though she kick up her heels, and snuff up the wind at her pleasure, so that they that seek her will not weary themselves, yet there is a time when she may be taken; in her month they shall find her, Jeremiah 2:24 .

    In the first day of the month] Heb. In one day. One for first is ordinary in both Testaments, Genesis 1:5; Numbers 29:1; Daniel 9:1; Matthew 28:1; Joh 20:1; 1 Corinthians 16:2. The time of this prophecy (as of others, Isaiah 1:1 Jeremiah 1:2,3, &c.) is precisely noted, to teach us what account we should make of God's oracles and inspirations; and how God will one day reckon with us for the helps we have had and the time we have enjoyed them. He sets down all: how much more should we, and live up to our means and mercies, propagating our thankfulness into our practice! Jeremiah prophesied forty years, but with ill success; it was his unhappiness to be physician to a dying state, Tunc etiam, docta plus valet arte malum. The Holy Ghost sets a special mark upon these forty years of his prophesying, Ezekiel 4:6, by bidding the prophet lie forty days upon his right side, and bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days, a day for a year.

    Came the word of the Lord] i.e. He began to prophesy, as Ezra 5:1, being sent and set to work by God, whose alone it is to make fit ministers of either Testaments, 2 Corinthians 3:5, to send, gift, and bless them, Jeremiah 23:21. Prophetarum ora sunt Dei os The mouths of the prophets are the mouth of God. (Chrysost.).

    By Haggai the prophet] Heb. by the hand of Haggai, that is, by his means and ministry. See Trapp on " Mal 1:1 " Haggai signifieth merry and pleasant (Festivus et laetus), as at a solemn feast; which name of his excellence suited both with the time of his prophecy, viz. after the return from captivity, see Psalms 126:1,2, and also with the matter whereof he treats and whereto he drives, Christ, the Desire of all nations, Hag 2:7 Wilt thou be merry at any time? saith Seneca, think on Caesar: canst thou be sad and he be in health? How much more cause have we to be merry in the Lord Christ! Let us keep the feast with all solemnity; let us keep holy day (εορταζωμεν), since Christ our passover is sacrificed for us, 1 Corinthians 5:7,8. Let this swallow up all our discontents, and crown the calendar of our lives with continual festivals; let the ransomed of the Lord return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads, &c., Isaiah 35:10. The Septuagint ascribe certain of the Psalms to Haggai and Zechariah, in the titles they prefix; though some think that the Hallelujah Psalms (as they are called, because they begin and end with Hallelujah, or, Praise ye the Lord) were sung by the Jews, returning out of Babylon; those two prophets beginning the tune, or giving the verse (as they call it). And hereunto the prophet Jeremiah might have an eye, Jeremiah 31:12 "Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together, to the goodness of the Lord," &c.

    Unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel] Philo saith he was also called Barachias; others Pedaiah, out of 1 Chronicles 3:19. He is called Sheshbazzar, Ezra 1:8. His name, Zerubbabel, signifieth either, Born in Babel, or, Far from confusion. A prince (of all men) should observe order, and keep the peace. By the laws of England a nobleman cannot be bound to the peace; because it is supposed that the peace is always bound to him, and that of his own accord he will be careful to keep others in good order. But what a regnum Cyclopicum was at Rome in Nero's days, Quando poterat quisque ea quam cuperet potiri, negare licebat nemini? Turn servus cum Domina, praesente Domino suo, et gladiator cum virgine nobili inspectante patre rem habuit (Dio in Vit. Neron). Blessed be God for better times.

    Governor of Judah] Or duke, captain, provincial, president. The many headed multitude hath need of a guide, who may be αθορυβος και φρονιμος, peaceable and prudent (saith Plato), to keep and care for the welfare of his subjects. Such a one was Zerubbabel, Nobilis genere, nobilior sanctitate, Noble by birth, but more noble by his piety; drained from the dregs and sifted from the brans of the baser sort of people. In the seventeenth year of his age he led back part of the people from Babylon to Jerusalem, where he continued governor for the time of 58 years, saith Gryaenus. Those that make Darius in the text to be Darius Nothus must needs allow him a much longer life and government; which God, say they, granteth to some because he hath something to be done by them. The change of states may here also be remarked. This people was first governed by judges, or captains; then by kings, and now by captains again. So the principality of Edom, as it began with dukes, and rose to kings, so it returned to dukes again, after the death of Hadad, in Moses' time, 1 Chronicles 1:51 Genesis 36:43. Adeo nihil est in vita firmum aut stabile (ασταθμητον του βιου). Truly, nothing in life is fixed and secure. So uncertain are all things.

    And to Joshua the son of Josedech] A brand plucked out of the fire, Zechariah 3:2, and therefore the fitter for such a preferment, ut in alto positus non altum sapiat (Bernard). David came not to the kingdom till his soul was even as a weaned child, Psalms 131:2. Queen Elizabeth swam to her crown through a sea of sorrows. Matthias, King of Hungary, was taken from the prison to the throne. But to the business: Joshua, the high priest, was a type of Christ in regard, 1. Of his name, which signifieth a Saviour. 2. Of his office of high priesthood. 3. Of his partnership with Zerubbabel, in bringing the people home to their own country. The Lord Christ is both our Prince of life and our merciful and faithful High Priest, ever living to make request for us, Acts 2:15; Hebrews 4:14,16; Hebrews 7:24,28

    The high priest, saying] Zerubbabel and Jehoshua were the chieftains of the people; and though not themselves in fault, or, at least, nothing so much (for they were both very religious), yet they were not so forward and forth putting as they should have been in so excellent a work. Howsoever, if the task be not done, the taskmasters are beaten, Exodus 5:14. It is the misery of those that are trusted with authority that their inferiors' faults are beaten upon their backs. If the people gather manna on the Lord's sabbath Moses and Aaron shall hear, "How long refuse ye to keep. my commandments?"Exodus 16:28. It is Mr Calvin's opinion that Haggai, therefore, addressed himself to these two principal persons; to the end that they might join their forces with him, in reprehending and exciting the people to the Lord's work. When the word and the sword go together there is great likelihood of much good to be done. Upon the sword of Charles the Great was written Utriusque tabulae custos. Guard of both tables of the law. And Queen Elizabeth riding progress once in Suffolk, said, that now she saw the reason why that county was so well governed, for she observed that all the justices coming to meet her had every one his minister next to his person.

  • Haggai 1:2 open_in_new

    Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built.

    Ver. 2. Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying] This title is oft used in these three last prophecies (eighteen different times in that eighth of Zechariah) because, being to build, they had many enemies; therefore had need of all encouragement. And Jerome, in his prologue, noteth it as an act of great courage in Haggai and Zechariah that, against the edict of King Artaxerxes (or Cambyses) and the oppositions of Sanballat, and other potent adversaries, they should stir up the people to build the temple; and as an act of heroic faith in the prince, priest, and people, to set upon the work, and finish it, "Not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts," Zechariah 4:6. See more of this title. See Trapp on " Mal 3:17 " Doct. 1.

    This people say] Words then have their weight; neither are men's tongues their own; but there is a Lord over them, Psa 12:4 that will call them to a strict account of all their waste words, Matthew 12:36, and hard speeches, Judges 1:15, and then they shal1 experiment that by their words (which they haply held but wind) they shall be justified, and by their words condemned, Matthew 12:37. How good is it, therefore, to carry a pair of balances between the lips? Nescit poenitenda loqui qui proferenda prius suo tradidit examini, saith Cassiodore; He that weighs his words before he utters them shall prevent an after reckoning for them.

    The time is not come, the time, &c.] He repeateth their frivolous and frigid excuses in their own very words; that he may the better confute them, and the sooner bring them to a sight of their sin, Usus est μιμησει ut rei indignitatem amplificaret. Sin and shifting came into the word together, Genesis 3:12. And this is still the vile poison of our hearts, that they will needs be naught, and yet never yield, but that there is reason to be made, and great sense in sinning. These Jews, likely, had both Scripture and reason to plead for their backwardness (as there is no wool so coarse but will take some colour; and the sluggard is wiser in his own eye than seven men that can render a reason, Pro 26:16). For Scripture: To everything there is an appointed time, a set season, such as we can neither alter nor order, Ecc 3:1 Haggai 1:3 "There is a time to break down, and a time to build up." And that this time to rebuild the temple was not yet come, some might pretend that the seventy years foretold were not yet fully expired; others (with more show of reason) that they had been too hasty in laying the foundation long since, as appears by their ill success and many adversaries; that God, who had dwelt so long in a tabernacle, and was now worshipped at his newly created altar, would bear with them, if they first built their own houses, and then be more free to build his house, which they intended to do hereafter, with great care and cost. This is still the guise of graceless procrastinators, to future and fool away their own salvation. Hereafter, say they, may be time enough, and what need such haste to build the spiritual temple? In time comes grace, God is more merciful than so; and at what time soever a sinner repents from the bottom of his heart, &c. Fools and blind men (as our Saviour calls the Pharisees, Mat 23:17), that thus stand trifling and baffling with God and their souls, being semper victuri, as Seneca saith, always about to do that which, if not well done, they are utterly undone for ever; for upon this little point of time hangs the crown of eternity. The gales of grace are uncertain, the day of grace (which is very clear and bright) is usually a short one. Non licet in belle bis peccare, It is not permitted to error twice in wartime, said Lamachus to a soldier of his brought before him, and pleading he would do so no more: so God will not suffer men twice to neglect the day of grace, which, if once past, will never dawn again. Let none, therefore, when pressed to the present now of meeting God by repentance, answer as Antipater, King of Macedonia, did, when one presented him a book treating of happiness, ου σχολαζω, I am not at leisure. Or as Archias, the Theban, when forewarned of a conspiracy against him, cast the letters by, with In crastinum seria, and was slain ere the morrow came. Or as these Cunctators in the text, that had often in their mouth, "The time is not come, the time," &c., lest the very next minute they be cut off by death from all further time of repentance, acceptation, and grace for ever. Men may purpose, promise, expect a time of healing and happiness, when they shall be deceived, and find a time of terror and torment, Jeremiah 14:19. Some, when a dying, would have given a world for time: as I have heard (saith a reverend man) one crying day and night, call time again; but that could not be. As in war, so here, none are permitted to err twice. Time must be taken by the forelock, as being bald behind, Posthac occasio calva.

  • Haggai 1:3 open_in_new

    Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,

    Ver. 3. Then came the word of the Lord, &c.] "Then," after a short silence, as it were, profertur Domini quasi cogitata responsio, follows the Lord's elaborate and deliberate answer, not without some touch of holy tartness at their ingratitude; for, of all things, God can least endure to be slighted where he hath better deserved. He looks upon such with anger, being grieved at the hardness of their hearts, Mark 3:5. He complains of such with a sigh; "Ah, sinful nation," Isaiah 1:4; he is ready to rid his stomach of them, Isaiah 1:24 "Ah, I will ease me," &c.

  • Haggai 1:4 open_in_new

    Haggai 1:4 [Is it] time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house [lie] waste?

    Ver. 4. Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, &c.] Not covered only, but ceiled with cedar (as the Chaldee here hath it), arched and garnished, as the Greek, carved and trimmed, as Ambrose rendereth it (Lib. 3. epist. 12). Sure, either your beds are very soft or your hearts very hard, that you can not only come into the tabernacles of your houses, but give sleep to your eyes, or slumber to your eyelids, before ye have found "a place for the Lord, a habitation for the mighty God of Jacob," Psalms 132:4,5. Good David could not find in his heart to dwell in a house of cedar when the ark of God dwelt within curtains, 2 Samuel 7:2. Valiant Uriah deemed it altogether unfit and unreasonable that when the ark, and Israel, and Judah, abode in tents, he should go to his house to eat and drink, and to take his ease and pleasure, 2 Samuel 11:11. Solomon first built a house for God, and then for himself. The Christian emperors, Constantine, Theodosius, Honorius, &c., exceeded in building churches, which, from their stateliness, were styled Basilicae, or places for a king. The very Turks to this day, though content to dwell in mean and homely houses, yet their Mosques or meeting houses are very sumptuously built and set forth. It is a principle in nature, that the things of God are older and more to be respected than the things of men (τα του Yεου πρεσβυτερα η τα των ανθρωπων. Herodot.). A professor of the Turks' laws proclaims, before they attempt anything, that nothing be done against religion. This is better than that which was written over the gate of the senate house in Rome (which yet is not to be disliked, in its place and order), Ne quid detrimenti Resp. capiat. Let nothing be done to the harm of the republic. Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's: but with all, and above all, Give unto God the things that are God's. The Greek article is twice repeated by our Saviour, when he speaketh for God, more than when for Caesar (τα του θεου τω θεω, Mat 22:21); to show that our special care should be to give God his due, to "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness," and then all other things shall seek us. Caetera aut aderunt, aut caetera non oberunt The rest either will happen or the rest will not harm. (Cicero). But most people are so busied about their own houses, their cottages of clay, 2 Corinthians 5:1, the body, that God's house, the soul, lies waste and neglected; the lean kine eat up the fat; the strength of the ground is spent in nourishing weeds. Earthly mindedness sucketh the sap of grace from the heart, as the ivy doth from the oak, and maketh it unfruitful. Men are so taken up about the world, that they think not of God's kingdom: as the Duke of Alva told the French king, who asked him whether he had observed the recent great eclipse? No, said he, I have so much to do upon earth, that I have no leisure to look toward heaven. But is not one thing necessary, and all others but side businesses? And have we not in our daily prayer five petitions for spirituals and but one for temporals? Are we not taught to make it our first request, that God's name may be hallowed, though our turn should not be served? Is not Esau stigmatized for selling his birthright for a mess of broth? Hebrews 12:16. And is not Shimei chronicled for a fool, who, by seeking after his servants, lost his life? Pope Sixtus for a madman, that sold his soul to the devil, to enjoy the Popedom for seven years? "What shall it profit a man to win the world and lose his own soul?" to win Venice, and then be hanged at the gates thereof, as the Italian proverb hath it? Surely such a man's loss will be, 1. Incomparable, 2. Irreparable; for "What shall a man give in exchange of his soul?" Matthew 16:26. It was no evil counsel that was given to John III, King of Portugal, to meditate every day a quarter of an hour on that Divine sentence. It would be time well spent to ponder as often and as long together on this text, "Is it time for you, O ye," that are so sharp set upon the world, so wholly taken up about your private profits, your pleasures and preferments, to sit in your ceiled houses, as Ahab once did in his ivory palace, or Nebuchadnezzar in his house of the kingdom (as he vain gloriously calleth it, Dan 4:30), and God's house lie waste, and his service neglected, to whom we ourselves owe, 1 Corinthians 6:19, our lives, Matthew 16:25, our parents, children, friends, means, Matthew 19:29, our gifts and abilities, 1 Corinthians 4:7, our honours and offices, Psalms 2:10,12, all that we are and have? How justly may God curse our blessings (as he threateneth these self-seeking, God neglecting Jews both here and Mal 2:2), scatter brimstone upon our houses, dry up our roots beneath, and above cut off our branches, drive us from light into darkness, and chase us out of the world with his terrors, Job 16:15,21. Surely such are the (ceiled) dwellings of the wicked, and this is the place of him that knoweth not God, that inverteth the order appointed of him, by coveting, not the best gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:21, but an evil covetousness, Habakkuk 2:9, by setting his affections, not on things above, but on things on the earth, by seeking their own things, every man, and not the things of Jesus Christ, Col 3:2 Philippians 2:21 .

  • Haggai 1:5 open_in_new

    Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

    Ver. 5. Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts] Haggai was but a young man, saith Epiphanius: now, therefore, lest any one that heard him should despise his youth, and slight his doctrine, he shows his authority, he comes to them cum privilegio, he delivers not the conceptions of his own brain, but the word and mind of God. For as Chrysostom saith of St Paul, so may we say of all the rest of the penmen of the Holy Scripture, Cor Pauli est cor Christi, The mind of Paul is the mind of Christ, their heart is Christ's own heart; and their words are to be received, reverenced, and ruminated, not as the words of mortal men, but (as they are indeed) the words of the ever living God, 1 Thessalonians 2:13. Excellently spake he who called the Scripture cor et animam Dei, the heart and soul of God. It is, every whit of it, divinely inspired, or breathed by God, saith the apostle, and is profitable both for reproof and for instruction in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16. See an instance hereof in this text, together with the prophet's rhetorical artifice in first chiding, and now directing them: to reprove, and not withal to instruct, is to snuff the lamp, but not pour in oil that may feed it.

    Consider your ways] Heb. set your hearts upon them, diligently recogitate and recognize your evil doings; and so shall ye soon find out the cause of your calamity. Judge yourselves, so shall ye not be judged of the Lord: accept the punishment of your iniquity, so iniquity shall not be your ruin; your ruth (repentance), but not your ruin, 1Co 11:30 Lev 26:41 Ezekiel 18:32. Capite consilium ex rebus ipsis, vel experimentis, Learn at least by the things ye have suffered: let experience, the mistress of fools, reduce you to a right mind. Lay to heart your manifold miseries, those διδασκαλοι αμισθοι, as one calleth them, free school masters, cursed enough and crabbed, but such as whereby God openeth men's ears to discipline, and eyes to observation of his works and their own ways, Job 36:8,10; according to that of Ezekiel 40:4 "Son of man, behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears, and set thy heart upon all that I shall show thee," &c.: the senses must be exercised that the heart may be affected with the word and works of God; according to that, "mine eye affecteth my heart," Lamentations 3:51; and Solomon got much of his wisdom by observation, as appeareth by his Ecclesiastes, which some have not unfitly called Solomon's soliloquy. It is but little that can be learned in this life without due and deep consideration; which is nothing else but an act of the practical understanding, whereby it reflects and stays upon its own intentions; and, comparing them with the rule, it proceeds to lay a command upon the will and affections to put them in execution. Thus David considered his ways, and, finding all out of order he turned his feet to God's testimonies, Psalms 119:59. And, to still God's enemies, Psalms 4:4, he bids them commune with their own hearts and be still, or, make a pause, viz. till they have brought their consideration to some good upshot and conclusion. For when consideration hath soundly enlightened a man's mind, informed his judgment according to that light (that candle held to his mind), and determined his will according to that judgment, it must needs bring forth sound resolutions purposes, and practices; as it did in the Ninevites, Ephraim, Jeremiah 31:19, Josiah, 2 Chronicles 34:27, the prodigal, Luke 15:17,19, the Church in Hosea, Hosea 2:6,7. She considered she was crossed, and hedged in with afflictions, and resolved to return to her first husband. The contrary inconsiderateness is complained about as a public mischief, Jeremiah 6:8; Jeremiah 8:6; Jeremiah 12:11. They have laid it waste, and being waste it mourneth unto me; the whole land lieth waste, because no man layeth it to heart, that is, considereth deeply of the cause of its desolation. Without this, though a man had all possible knowledge locked up in his brain and breast, it would be but as rain in the middle region, where it doth no good; as the horn in the unicorn's head, where it helps no disease; or as a fire in a flintstone, insensible and unprofitable till beaten out by sound consideration; this makes knowledge to become experimental, as Psa 116:6 Romans 8:1,2; this is to "follow on to know the Lord," Hosea 6:3, as without this men's knowledge is but a flash, and may end in ignorance and profaneness; because never formed and seated in their hearts, never digested by due meditation and application to their own consciences.

  • Haggai 1:6 open_in_new

    Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages [to put it] into a bag with holes.

    Ver. 6. Ye have sown much and bring in little] This was visible to them; and they are called upon to consider it. The philosopher affirms that man is therefore the wisest of creatures, because he alone can compute and consider. And yet how little doth man respect this privilege, without which he were to be sorted with beasts or madmen! "God hearkened and heard, but no man spake advisedly, no man repented of his wickedness, saying, What have I done?" Jeremiah 8:6; no man humbled himself under the mighty hand of God, though God thrust him down, as it were, with a thump upon the back. Most men's minds are as ill set as their eyes are; neither of them look inwards. "Lord," saith the prophet, "when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see," &c., Isaiah 26:11. So, when God's rod call for reformation they will not hear it and who hath appointed it, but they shall hear, Job 33:15. Conscience, their domestic chaplain, shall ring this peal in their ears, "Consider your ways: Ye have sowed much but brought in little," &c. Omnia fuistis et nihil profuit, you have tried all ways to live, and it will not be, laboured all night, and taken nothing, "laboured in the very fire, and wearied yourselves for your vanity," Habakkuk 2:13; as those that seek after the philosopher's stone, the most they can look for is their labour for their pains. Either vanity or violence hath exhausted you, as Zechariah 8:10, and God's vengeance is visible enough in those secret issues and drains of expense at which your estates run out, because he puts not his holy finger on the hole in the bottom of the bag. For it is his blessing alone that maketh rich, Proverbs 10:22 "and except he build the house, they labour in vain that build it," Psalms 127:1. There is a curse upon unlawful practices, though men be never so industrious, as in Jehoiakim, Jer 22:13-19 And all their policies, without dependence upon him for direction and success, are but arena sine calce, sand without lime; they will not hold together when we have most need of them, but fall asunder, like untempered mortar. Hence the Psalmist assureth us that "promotion comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor yet from the south," where the warm sunshine is, "but from the Lord: he putteth down one, and setteth up another," Psalms 75:6. So Hannah: "The Lord," saith she, "maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up," 1 Samuel 2:7. And albeit no man knows either love or hatred by all that is before them, because all things come alike to all, Ecclesiastes 9:1,2 (God maketh a scatter, as it were, of these outward commodities: good men gather them, bad men scramble for them), yet if he blow upon a man's estate, and by losses and crosses so beat him down with his own bare hand (as here in the text) that either he hath not to eat, or dare not eat his fill for fear of wanting another day, or if he do eat, yet the staff of bread being broken, and for want of God's concurrence, he eats and is not satisfied, &c., he hath but prisoners' pittance, which will neither keep him alive nor yet suffer him to die; he is to be very sensible of it, to consider his ways, and looking upon his penury (as a piece of the curse for neglect of God's service, Lev 26:14-20), to deprecate that last and worst of miseries, the judgment of pining away in their iniquities, Leviticus 26:39. This is worse than any scarcity, than any bulimy or doggish appetite, a disease common in times of famine. "The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want," Proverbs 14:25. As his belly prepareth deceit, Job 15:35, so it suffers deceit; imposturam faciunt et patiuntur, as the emperor said of them that sold glass for pearls. Fumos vendidit, fumo pereat, he that sells vapours let him pass away as a vapour. as another. Ye looked for much, and lo it came to little, as it followeth, Haggai 1:9; and why? but because they thought every little too much for God, and all well saved that was kept from him, Malachi 3:9,11. See Trapp on " Mal 3:9 " See Trapp on " Mal 3:10 " See Trapp on " Mal 3:11 " The Popish commentators upon this text call upon the people (if ever they mean to thrive) to keep holy days, to, hear masses, &c.; yea, some priests in Gerson's time publicly preached to the people that whosoever would hear a mass he should not fall blind on that day, nor be taken away by sudden death, nor want sufficient sustenance, Non erit caecus, nec subito morietur, nec carebit sufficienti sustentatione. This was more than they had good warrant to promise; and yet they are believed. Shall not we learn to live by faith, to trust "in the Lord and do good? so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed," Psalms 37:3. The wicked in the fulness of their sufficiency are in straits, Job 20:22. Contrarily, the godly, in the fulness of their straits are in a sufficiency; and this is the gain of godliness, 1 Timothy 6:6. Piety is never without a well-contenting sufficiency, it hath treasure that faileth not, bags that wax not old, Luke 12:33; and shall have hereafter riches without rust, wealth without want, store without sore, beauty without blemish, mirth without mixture.

  • Haggai 1:7 open_in_new

    Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

    Ver. 7. Consider your ways] See Haggai 1:5. Do it early and earnestly. Excutite vos, iterumque excutite, as Tremellius rendereth that in Zephaniah 2:1 "Search you, search you, O nation not worthy to be beloved." So Lamentations 3:40 "Let us search and try our ways." Not search only, but try, and, as it were, sift them to the bran. So 2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith: prove your own selves," as it were, with redoubled diligence, in a most needful but much neglected duty, of dealing with your own hearts. But if ye will not, see that flaming place, Ezekiel 16:43. If men will not judge themselves, God will; as, though scholars will not scan their verses, their masters will. Men are as loth to review their actions, and read the blurred writings of their own hearts, as schoolboys are to parse their lessons and false Latins they have made. But as he who will not cast up his books, his books will cast up him at length; so those that will not consider their ways, and take themselves to task, shall find that sparing a little pains at first will double it in the end; and that the best that can come of this forlorn negligence is the bitter pangs of repentance. Oh, therefore, that, with Solomon's wise man, we had our eyes in our heads, and not in the corners of the earth! Ecclesiastes 2:14. And that our eyes were, like the windows in Solomon's temple, broad inward, that we might see our sins to confession, so should we never see them to our confusion, 1 Kings 6:4. The Israelites confessed their murmuring and stubbornness when God sent evil angels among them, that is, some messengers of his wrath and displeasure. The prophet Haggai here would have their posterity consider, and better consider, since the hand of God was so heavy upon them, and that he came against them, as it were, with a drawn sword, how they might disarm his just indignation by a speedy reformation. To which purpose he addeth,

  • Haggai 1:8 open_in_new

    Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.

    Ver. 8. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, &c.] Set upon the work, and be serious; build the temple with like zeal as Baruch repaired the wall, Nehemiah 3:20, accendit seipsum, he burst out into a heat, being angry with his own and others' sloth; and so finished his task in a short time. It must be an earnest, upright, and constant endeavour of reformation that must follow upon our sense of sin and fear of wrath; or else all will be but motus aliquis evanidus (as Calvin on the text hath it), a very flash; it will be but as prints made on water; as soon as finger is off all is out. It was certainly, therefore, an excellent saying of Luther (though condemned for heretical by Pope Leo X), Optima et aptissima poenitentia est nova vita. Amendment of life is the best repentance; neither is there any wiser way to break off our sins than to practise the contrary duties. He that repents with a contradiction (saith Tertullian), God will pardon him with a contradiction. Thou repentest and yet continuest in thy sin. God will pardon thee and yet send thee to hell. Those that will have God to take pleasure in them, as in his temple, to love them and come unto them, and make his abode with them, John 14:23, to dwell in them, and walk in them, 2 Corinthians 6:16 (as they did in Solomon's porch, and other walks and galleries about the temple, Zec 3:7), to be glorified in them (accounting himself to receive, as it were, a new being, by those inward conceptions of his glory, and those outward honours we do to his name), they must go up to the mountain, not of Lebanon (though that was a pleasant and plentiful place, Deu 3:25), but of heaven, that hill from whence comes their help, and bring wood (growing wood, Song of Solomon 1:17, living stones, 1Pe 2:5), and build the house, 1 Corinthians 3:9 Ephesians 2:22, laying faith for a foundation, love for a covering, having hope for a pinnacle, humility for a pavement, washing it with tears, sweeping it by repentance, beautifying it with holiness, perfuming it with prayers, hanging it with sincerity. So shall Christ the King be held in the galleries, Song of Solomon 7:5, he shall covet their beauty, Psalms 45:12, and be held fast bound to them in the bands of pure affection and spiritual wedlock. He will take pleasure in them, as he did in those that prayed in or toward the temple, Deuteronomy 12:11 1 Kings 8:29, as he did in Daniel, that man of desires, Daniel 9:23, in David, God's corculum, or darling, 1 Samuel 13:14, in his Hephzibah, or sweetheart, the Church, Isaiah 62:4, called elsewhere the beloved of his soul, or his beloved soul: and he will be glorified in them by their spiritual sacrifices, 1 Peter 2:5, reasonable services, Romans 12:1, performed in spirit and in truth, John 4:24, by some one of which God is more glorified than by all the actions of unreasonable or unregenerate creatures.

  • Haggai 1:9 open_in_new

    Ye looked for much, and, lo, [it came] to little; and when ye brought [it] home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that [is] waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.

    Ver. 9. Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little] Spes in oculis, luctus in manibus, as Jerome here. The hope of unjust men perisheth, Proverbs 11:7, etiam spes valentissima, his likeliest hope, as some render it; he thinks himself sure, as Esau did of the blessing, but he only thinks so; God cuts off the meat from his mouth, Joel 1:16, takes away his corn in the time thereof, Hosea 2:9, confutes him in his confidences, which prove like the brooks of Tema, Job 6:17, and serve him as Absalom's mule did her master; his high hopes hop headless, as one phraseth it. It happens with him as with those perverse Israelites in the wilderness, made to tack about forty-two times after that they thought themselves sure of the promised land.

    I did blow upon it] i.e. I dispersed it with ease. By a like phrase (for sense) God is said, Isaiah 25:11, to spread forth his hands in the midst of his enemies, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim; and to bring down their pride, together with the spoils of their hands, with greatest facility. The motion in swimming is easy, not strong; for strong violent strokes in the water would rather sink than support. In like sort God blasted their treasure or blew their hoards hither and thither, he consumed their substance and cursed their blessings, as Malachi 2:2. See Trapp on " Mal 2:2 "

    Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, &c.] Their sin of preferring their own private interests and self-respects before God's work and service is here repeated, and exaggerated, as the ground and cause of all their calamities: and all little enough to bring them to a sound and serious sight and hatred of their sins. Such a deep kind of drowsiness hath surprised us, for the most part, that whereas every judgment of God should be a warning peal to repent, we be like the smith's dog, who the harder the anvil is beaten on lieth by and sleepeth the sounder; or like the silly hen, which loseth her chickens one by one by the devouring kite, and yet, as altogether insensible of her loss, continues to pick up what lieth before her. This is to swelter and pine away in iniquity, as if nothing could awaken men, Leviticus 26:39, and it is threatened last of all, as worse than all their losses, captivities, &c. A lethargy is no less deadly than the most tormenting disease. Let ministers, therefore, by such forcible and quick questions as this in the text and otherwise, arouse their hearers (as they once did here their dear friends in the sweating sickness, who, if suffered to sleep, died certainly), that they may awake, and recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, &c. It is well observed by one that the devil's particular sin is not once mentioned in Genesis, because he was not to be restored by repentance; but the sin of man is enlarged in all the circumstances. And why this? but that he might be sensible, ashamed, and penitent for his sin. They say in philosophy that the foundation of natural life is feeling; no feeling, no life; and that the more quick and nimble the sense of feeling is in a man the better is his constitution. Think the same of life spiritual, and of that hidden man of the heart, as St Peter calls him.

    And ye run every man unto his own house] Or, ye take pleasure every man in his own house, q.d. Ye are all self-seekers, privatespirited persons, ye are all for your own interests; like the snail, that seldom stirs abroad, and never without his house upon his back; or like the eagle, which, when he flies highest, hath still an eye downward to the prey, that he minds to seize. In parabola oves capras suas quaerunt. In the parabole of the sheep, he seeks his sheep. They serve not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own bellies, Romans 16:18; or if they serve Christ, it is for gain, as children will not say their prayers unless we promise them their breakfasts. In serving him they do but serve themselves upon him; as those carnal Capernaites did, John 6:26. Well might the apostle complain, as Philippians 2:21, and another since, that it is his pleasures, his profit, and his preferment that is the natural man's trinity; and his carnal self that is these in unity. May he be but warm in his own feathers, he little regards the dangers of the house. He is totus in se, wholly drawn up into himself, and insensible of either the public good or common danger: though the waterpot and spear be taken from the bolster, yet he stirs not. Far enough from St Paul's frame of spirit or speech, Who is offended, and I burn not? far enough from his care and cumber, anxiety and solicitude for the house of God (επισυστασις μεριμνα) and prosperity of his people, 2 Corinthians 11:28. Nothing like they are to Ambrose, who was more troubled for the state of the Church than for his own dangers. Nothing like Melancthon, of whom it is said, that the ruins of God's house and the miseries of his people made him almost neglect the death of his most beloved children. True goodness is public spirited, though to private disadvantage; as nature will venture its own particular good for the general, so will grace much more. Heavy things will ascend to keep out vacuity and preserve the universe. A stone will fall down to come to its own place, though it break itself in twenty pieces. It is the ingenuity of saints, in all their desires and designs, to study God's ends more than their own; to build God's house with neglect of their own, as Solomon did; to drown all self-respects in his glory and the public good, as Nehemiah did; of whom it might be more truly said than the heathen historian (Dio) did of Cato, that he did υπεραγαπαν το κοινον, overly loved the commonwealth, and that he did - toti genitum se credere mundo, believe himself born for the benefit of mankind (Lucan).

  • Haggai 1:10 open_in_new

    Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed [from] her fruit.

    Ver. 10. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from rain, &c.] It is never well with man (whose life is ever in fuga, in flight, as the philosopher hath it, and must be maintained by meat, as the fire is by fuel) till God "hear the heaven, and the heaven hear the earth, and the earth hear the corn, the wine, and the oil, and these hear Jezreel," Hosea 2:21,22, where we may see the genealogy of these good creatures resolved into God. The earth, though a kind mother, cannot open her bowels, and yield "seed to the sower, and bread to the eater," if not watered from above. The heaven, though the storehouse of God's good treasure, which he openeth to our profit and nourishment, Deuteronomy 28:12, cannot drop down fatness upon the earth if God close it up, and withhold the seasonable showers. This the very heathens acknowledged in their fictions of Jupiter and Juno; and the Metapontines, having had a good harvest, consecrated χρυσουν θερος, a harvest cut in gold, to their god, in the temple at Delphi. Now, when a rabble of rebels shall conspire against God, and fight against him with his own weapons, as Jehu did against Jehoram with his own men, what can he do less than cut them short? that make them know the worth of his benefits by the want of them?

  • Haggai 1:11 open_in_new

    And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon [that] which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.

    Ver. 11. than call for a drought &c.] and so for a dearth (which inevitably followed in those hot countries), and consequently for pestilence and sword, the usual concomitants? The Septuagint for drought here (by a mistake of points) translate a sword Pro chorebb legunt cherib. And in the original there is an elegance alliteration past the ability to translate. Because my house is chareb, that is, waste, therefore I have called for a choreb, drought, or for a chereb, a sword, which shall in like sort lay your land waste and make your houses desolate; according to that which is threatened, Deu 28:15-68 Matthew 23:38. And in the very next chapter Matthew 24:7, Christ telleth his apostles that those refractory Jews, and others, that rejected him, the true temple, in "whom the Godhead dwelt bodily," Colossians 2:9, that is, essentially (and not in clouds and ceremonies, as once between the cherubims, which they used to call Shechinah), because they loathed the heavenly manna, therefore they should be pined with famine. They that would have none of the gospel of peace should taste deeply of the miseries of war. They that despised the only medicine of their souls should be visited with pestilence. The black horse is ever at the heels of the red; and the pale of the black Revelation 6:4. As there hath been a conjuncture of offences, so there will be of miseries; a conflux of them abideth the neglecters of God's house, the contemners of his gospel. Ursine tells us, that those that fled from England for religion in Queen Mary's days, acknowledged that that great inundation of misery came justly upon them, for their unprofitableness under the means of grace, which they had enjoyed in King Edward's days. Zanchy likewise tells us, that when he first came to be pastor at Clavenna there happened a grievous pestilence in that town, so that in seven months' time there died twelve hundred persons. Their former pastor, Mainardus, that man of God, as he calleth him, had often foretold such a calamity, for their profaneness and Popery; but he could never be believed till the plague had proved him a true prophet; and then they remembered his words, and wished they had been warned by him (Zanch. Miscel. ep. ad Lantgrav.). Let us also fear, lest for our many and bony sins (as the prophet's expression is, Amos 5:12, Peccata ossea, bony sins i.e. fortia) strong, but especially for our hateful and horrible contempt of his servants and services (never the, like known), we pull upon our land Amos's famine, not of bread, but (which is a thousandfold worse) of hearing the words of the Lord, Amos 8:11; a famine long since foretold and feared by our martyrs and confessors; and now, if ever (if God forefend not), in procinctu, in readiness of battle to fall upon us, as the most unworthy and unthankful people that ever the sun of heaven beheld or the sun of Christ's gospel shone upon so fair and so long together. The best way of prevention is prevision and reformation; beginning at our own, as Gideon did at his father's household, Judges 6:27. And the best almanack we can rely upon for seasonable weather and the lengthening of our tranquillity is our obedience to God, love to our neighbours, care of ourselves.

  • Haggai 1:12 open_in_new

    Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.

    Ver. 12. Then Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, &c.] So mighty in operation, so quick and powerful, is the good word of God in the mouths of his faithful ministers, when seconded and set on by his Holy Spirit. See for this Isaiah 55:10,11 Jer 23:28-29 Acts 19:20 1Co 14:24-25 Hebrews 4:12. See that scala coeli, ladder of heaven, as one calleth it, Romans 10:14,15, and consider how mightily the word of God grew and prevailed in those primitive times. It spread through the world like a sunbeam, saith Eusebius; it was carried about into all places as on eagles', or, rather, as on angels' wings. Athanasius of old and Luther of late, were strangely upheld and prospered against a world of opposers to the truth they preached. Farellus gained five large cities with their territories to Christ. How admirably and effectually King Edward VI was wrought upon by a sermon of Bishop Ridley's, touching works of charity, see his Life, written by Sir John Heywood. It is the Spirit that quickeneth the seed of the word, and maketh it prolific and generative. And as in the body there are veins to carry the blood, and arteries to carry the spirits that quicken the blood; so is it with the word and spirit in the soul. If God's Spirit open not man's heart, the word cannot enter. If he enlighten not both organ and object, Christ, though never so powerfully preached, is both unkent and unkist, as the northern proverb hath it. The word heard profited them not, because not mixed with faith in them that heard it, Hebrews 4:2. They heard it only with the hearing of the ear, with that gristle that grew on the outside of the head; whereas they should have drawn up the inward ear to the outward, that one and the same sound might have pierced both. But this all that hear cannot do, because all are not of God, John 8:47, and so have not his earmark, spiritual senses habitually exercised to discern good and evil, Hebrews 5:14; they have a heavy ear, which is a singular judgment, Isaiah 6:10 .

    With all the remnant of the people] i.e. The generality of the returned captives followed their leaders. A remnant they are called, because but few in comparison of those many hedge rogues, Mr Dyke calleth them, potters they are called, 1 Chronicles 4:23, men of base and low spirits, that dwelt still in Babylon among plants and hedges; being the base brood of those degenerated Israelites, who, when liberty was proclaimed for their return to Jerusalem, chose rather to get their living by making pots for the King of Babylon. These are ancient, or rather obsolete things, as Junius rendereth it, worn out and forgotten; and indeed they deserve to be utterly forgotten, and not written or reckoned among the living in Jerusalem, Isaiah 4:4 .

    Obeyed the voice of the Lord their God] With the obedience of faith; and this they did by the good example of their rulers. Thus, when Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed, many of the Corinthians believed also, Acts 18:8, When the kings of Judah were good or evil the people were so likewise. Great men are the lookingglasses of their country; according to which most men dress themselves. Qualis Rex, talis grex. How excellent a king, such a great company. "Why compellest thou the Gentiles," said Paul to Peter, so, by thine example, to Judaize? Galatians 2:14 .

    And the words of Haggai the prophet] Whose mouth God was pleased to make use of. And this is added for a confirmation of the prophet's calling to the work; because of long time before there had been no prophet among the people, nor any to tell how long, as the Church complaineth, Psalms 74:9 .

    As the Lord their God had sent him] Heb. according as the Lord their God had sent him, after the same manner they heard, and obeyed the prophet, as the Lord had sent him; they did not wrest his words to a wrong sense; nor did they question his commission; but receiving it as the word, not of man, but of God, they set forthwith upon the work, yielding as prompt and present obedience, as if God with his own mouth had immediately spoken to them from heaven.

    And the people did fear before the Lord] As if he himself bad been visibly present in his own person. So St Peter's hearers, Acts 10:33, Now, therefore, say they, we are all here present before God, to hear all things commanded thee of God. If young Samuel had known that it was the Lord that called him once and again he would not have returned to his bed to sleep. If men were well persuaded that the God of heaven bespeaks them by his faithful ministers they would not give way to wilful wanderings, but hear as for life, and fear to do anything unworthy of such a presence; they would work out their salvation with fear and trembling, yea, work hard at it, as afraid to be taken with their task undone. "They that fear the Lord will keep his covenant," saith David, Psalms 103:13 "Fear God, and keep his commandments," saith Solomon, Ecclesiastes 12:14 "And, in every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted of him," saith Peter, Acts 10:35 .

  • Haggai 1:13 open_in_new

    Then spake Haggai the LORD'S messenger in the LORD'S message unto the people, saying, I [am] with you, saith the LORD.

    Ver. 13. Then spake Haggai the Lord's messenger] Or angel. See Trapp on " Mal 1:1 " (Then speaks) Namely, on the four and twentieth day of the month, as it is in the last verse; until which day they had been building for three weeks together. But Governor Tatnai and his complices came upon them, and discouraged the people and hindered the work, Ezra 5:6; Ezra 5:8. It was but needful, therefore, that God's command should be repeated, and a special promise added, "I am with you," saith the Lord. Where we may well take up that of Cicero concerning Brutus' laconical epistle, Quam multa, quam paucis! how much in a little. "I am with you," saith the Lord, you need not therefore fear what man can do unto you. God is all-sufficient to those that are altogether his, see 2 Chronicles 15:2. The Church is called Jehovah Shammah, that is, "The Lord is there," Ezekiel 48:35 "God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved," Psalms 46:5. Immota manet may better be her motto than Venice's. She is surely invincible, Zechariah 12:5,7, as having a mighty champion, even the Holy One of Israel; and this makes her (though but a virgin) to laugh to scorn her proudest enemies; yea, to shake her head at them, Isaiah 37:22,23, as rather to be pitied than envied. There were they in great fear (saith David, of the Church's enemies); for what reason? God is in the generation of the righteous, Psa 14:5 Hence those Philistines were so woe-begone, 1 Samuel 4:7. And the Eygptians no less, Exodus 14:25. Let us flee, say they, from the face of Israel; for the Lord fights for them. "What shall we then say to these things?" saith Paul (who had often heard when he was in the enemy's hand, Fear not, I am with thee), "If God be for us, who can be against us?" who dare be so fool-hardy, so ambitious of his own destruction? Hath ever any waxed fierce against God and prospered? Job 9:4. Where is Pharaoh, Nero, Nebuchadnezzar, &c.? Was it safe for these or any other to provoke the Lord to anger? were they stronger than he? Oh that men would (according to Solomon's counsel) meddle with their match, and not contend with him that is mightier than they! Can God be with his people and see them abused to his face? Will they force the queen also before him in the house, Esther 7:8. Will they, giant-like, fight against God? will they needs touch the apple of his eye, that tenderest piece of the tenderest part? Will they invade his portion, plunder him of his jewels, pull the signet from his right hand? Surely God is so with his people, that as he taketh notice of the least courtesy done to them to reward it (even to a cup of cold water), so of the least affront or offence, to revenge it, be it but a frown or a frump, Genesis 4:6 Numbers 12:10 "Better a millstone were hanged," &c. Better anger all the witches in the country than one of God's zealous witnesses, Revelation 11:5. Death cannot hurt them, Psalms 23:3. Hell could no more hold them (the pains of hell got hold on David, but he was delivered, Psa 116:3) than the whale could hold Jonas; it must needs render them up again, because God is with them. Now I had rather be in hell (said Luther) with God than in heaven without him, and it were far safer for me.

  • Haggai 1:14 open_in_new

    And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,

    Ver. 14. And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, &c.] Here is the appendix of the foregoing sermon, whereof we have heard but the brief notes. That one word, I am with you, seconded and set on by God's holy Spirit, set them all to work. "How forcible are right words!" Job 6:25. One seasonable truth falling on a prepared heart hath often a strong and sweet operation, sc. when God is pleased to work with it, and make it effectual; this man cannot do no more than the husbandman can make a harvest. "The weapons of our warfare are mighty, through God, to the pulling down of strongholds," 2 Corinthians 10:4. Luther, having heard Staupicius say, that that is kindly repentance which begins from the love of God, found from that time forward the practice of repentance far sweeter to him than before. Galeacius Caracciolus, an Italian marquis, was converted by an apt similitude used by Peter Martyr, reading on the First Epistle to the Corinthians. Dr Taylor, martyr, blessed God that ever he became fellow prisoner to that angel of God (as he called him), John Bradford. Senarclaeus (in his epistle to Bucer, prefixed before the history of the death of John Diarius, slain by his own brother, as Abel was, for religion's sake), I remember, saith he, when he and I were together at Newburg, the day before his slaughter, he gave me a great deal of grave and gracious counsel: Ego vero illius oratione sic incendebar, ut cum eum disserentem audirem, Spiritus Sancti verba me audire existimarem, i.e. I was so stirred up with his discourse, as if I had heard the Holy Ghost himself speaking unto me; so fervent was he, and full of life; for he first felt what he spake, and then spake what he felt. So should all do that desire to speak to purpose; and then pray to God, as for a door of utterance, so for a door of entrance to be opened unto them; such as St Paul had to the heart of Lydia, and as Bishop Ridley had to the heart of good King Edward VI, whereof before.

    And they came and did work] The governors also, by overseeing others, and ruling the business by their discretion. Where God's glory and the common good is concerned all sorts must set to their helping hand.

  • Haggai 1:15 open_in_new

    In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.

    Ver. 15. In the four and twentieth day] See Trapp on " Hag 1:13 " The time is diligently noted, to teach us to take good note of the moments of time, wherein matters of moment have been, by God's help, begun, continued, and perfected in the Church. This will be of singular use, both for the increase of faith and of good affection in our hearts.